Monday 17 Dec, 2012

8 Essential Apps for Smart Travelers

In the past I’ve written about my favorite apps in different categories related to traveling. This time around I want to share with you my Essential Apps for Smart Travelers, like us!

So far, I have been able to travel without much use of apps. I’ve also traveled mostly with my parents, who spend half the trip trying to read maps – often times upside down – and who think a mixture of English and Spanish, or Spanglish, will get them around in the most exotic of places. On the last two trips I’ve been, since I’ve owned an iPhone, I went alone though. It was in these trips that I experienced the awesomeness that is travelling without your parents, a.k.a. how to depend on my iPhone for literally everything!

My first trip was during summer break, I flew down to Miami. Apart from the heat stroke I almost got, it was an amazing trip! I stayed with my aunt while I was down there, so I didn’t have much use for apps – except for the occasional food app that saved my life at 4 in the morning! Opposite to this, my second trip was literally spent on an iPhone 24/7! I visited Los Angeles with my best friends from back home. Apps were amazing in helping us pack our essentials, track our flights so everything would go smoothly, drive around the city, and even in finding those hot spots to go to. All I can say is: thank you Apple! If it weren’t for you I’d probably still be lost in that hiking trail we took up to the Hollywood sign!

These next few apps have helped me through rain and hail; I’m hoping they help you too!

Packlist app logo1) Packing App – Packlist

Super simple! This app works by listing out all the necessary things you will need for your trip. It already comes with packing lists that vary depending on the type of trip you describe. Whether it’s a vacation or business trip, and you’re going to a cold or warm climate, Packlist gives you a really good estimate of the things you’ll need, and allows you to keep track of the items you take. Definitely worth a try, especially since it’s free!

FlightView app logo2) Flight App – FlightView

This excellent app gives you all the handy information you need for tackling airports! Just type in your flight information and the app tells you everything from flight schedules, gate numbers, and even the weather in the destination cities. Likewise, the Airports tab gives you information on directions to the airport and the odds that flights will get delayed.

XE Currency app logo3) Currency App – XE Currency

For those strenuous situations when you’re stuck figuring out how much money you’ve spent, XE Currency does the work! It’s a free and easy to use app that lets you convert between currencies and saves the ones you use the most. The app also saves the most up to date conversions for when you’re offline. Although it’s a simple app, it gets the job done.

Google Translate app logo4) Translation App – Google Translate

If you’ve read my older posts, you already know the answer to this one. We already use Google for basically everything, so why not let them translate for us too! With over 64 languages to translate from, this app helps you get around. Over 15 of these give you the option for verbal translations, so you don’t have to awkwardly try and pronounce the words. Give it a try and test it out before you travel; impress your friends with some new words!

WebMD app icon5) Emergency App – WebMD

WebMD is almost like having a doctor at hand 24/7! It’s an app that everyone needs whether you’re travelling or back home. Firstly, the coolest feature is the selection of body parts and symptoms. By choosing where it is that you’re having trouble, the app is able to give you an approximation of what your condition is, how you could have gotten it and measures to make it better. Secondly, this app has a drug, supplement and vitamin database where you can find all sorts of information like uses, side effects, and warnings. And thirdly, it contains a First Aid information tab for medical emergencies. Some extra features include local health listings, and a pill identification tool for spotting which pill is which in case they get mixed. This app is trusty enough to use as a quick opinion when you’re abroad travelling, but remember to confirm with a licensed doctor before taking any drastic measures!

Yelp app logo6) Food App – Yelp

Yelp is awesome! Need I say more? We all know about this awesome website and its handy restaurant reviews. The app does exactly the same thing, but in a mobile friendly format. Search for restaurants based on cuisines, neighborhoods, distance, price, whether they’re open or they deliver, etc. It doesn’t work everywhere in the world, but it does so in a lot of countries, so you should definitely give it a try if you’re in the mood for something specific, or you want to find where the locals eat.

Instagram app logo7) Picture App – Instagram

Instagram is the perfect picture app, and odds are you already use it! It allows you to take pictures and filter them, making them look amazing while at the same time connecting you with other users through the use of hashtags. These hashtags let you see others enjoying similar activities, or enjoying themselves in the same location, possibly serving as inspiration for what to do next, or where to visit. What makes it even more fun is that it easily connects with most social network sites like Twitter and Facebook so you can share great moments with your friends. If you don’t already have an account, definitely make one!

Triposo app logo8) Guide App – Triposo

I’ve said it and I’ll say it again! Triposo is my favorite app to find places to see and things to do in your trips! Explore tabs like sightseeing, eating out, hotels, shopping, family fun, sports, and more, while you learn more about the city’s history, culture, and language. All of this in an easy to use and visually enticing app! Download the guides before you go on your trip so you can use them on the go without roaming charges!

I hope these apps can help you in your travels or at least serve as inspiration to find others!

Alexander Sebelen(Editor’s note: Add Alex to your Google+ Circles. Born and raised in Dominican Republic, Alexander Sebelen moved to Boston for college in 2009. Alex is currently a marketing and finance student at Northeastern University, and expects to graduate in 2014. Having traveled in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and within the US, Alex was inspired to intern for EF Tours and put his experiences to work. His weekly blog posts will share his personal views on handy travel apps that can be used when abroad.)

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